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I often tell my clients “Ketu tumhey mandir ke aagey khada kar dega.” Which means Ketu will make you stand at the doors of a temple, you can either go in as a devotee (if you are smart), else it would make you beg in front of the temple. There is no third choice.
This is a topic very, very close to my heart. Having gone through this most powerful and terrible of all Mahadashas, especially the poisonous first half of it, I can feel the pain of anyone who is going through this period. This spiritual serpent planet is the least known but the most damaging of all Planets.
While I would eventually write about all 9 Mahadashas, Ketu comes first and foremost for me, as this is the most difficult of all periods, and almost always gives uniform results irrespective the placement in chart.
Every other planet may give a good or bad dasha, but Ketu is invariably harsh for anyone that goes through it.
My view is that the phrase “7 years of bad luck” was coined because Ketu mahadasha lasts for a period of 7 years. And thank god for it. Had it longer like 18 years of Rahu, I have my doubts if barring Sanyasis, anyone would have emerged out of it alive. For the record, maximum number of suicide attempts and divorces that I have seen happened in a Ketu period.
Ketu, the planet of liberation is the most spiritual planet of all. All that he wants to do is to deliver liberation and spirituality to a person. He is not at all interested in the material world and hence it wreaks havoc at a material plane, especially in the first half.
I think I owe the Divine Ketu this clarification: Ketu is NOT a malefic. I repeat, Ketu is NOT a malefic. It is the MOST spiritual of all Planets, more than even Jupiter. However, it has a harsh way of delivering his lessons. He wants us to wake up to BIGGER and more important realties of Karma detachment, and spirituality. We have created a very shani-Rahu kind of world where “My job”, “My power”, “My money” “My family” “My relationship” is all that we are worried about. Ketu has to show us that all these are fragile and impermanent trappings of ego. It goes to work…and starts hammering everything one by one.
Ketu is interested in a burning up boatloads of bad karma during its mahadasha. It would pile all your bad karma up, put you in the middle of it, and set it on fire.
There are a few things which are almost sure to happen during a Ketu Mahadasha:
- You lose your head: Guess this has something to do with Ketu not having a head. Coming out of brilliant Mercury Mahadasha, people feel that they are intellectually brilliant and infallible. However, Ketu Mahadasha corrects this misconception quickly. People often complain of headaches, sleepiness, thyroid problems and in some cases even diabetes. All this dulls down their intellect that they were so proud of during their mercury period. While in mercury they were applauded as geniuses, they are criticized for their “foolishness” during Ketu dasha, showing fully well that what they considered their intelligence, was a passing grace of mercury. The intellectual giants often fall flat and realize that they are little more than paws in the great game of Planets.
- You lose your relation (a closest one): Chidrakaraka Ketu, the planet which lost its own head symbolizes separation from a relation which was like a part of you. At least one (often more) of very close relations is separated from you in a very brutal manner that scars you for life and you realize that no matter how close a relation is, everything is temporary. However, this detachment often serves the native well in times to come because Ketu takes away all that has become useless in present incarnation. This detached attitude comes in handy during the Venus period.
- You lose your job: People often lose their job, business or whatever they were engaged in and are often moved towards something totally different. However good news is that like everything else that Ketu does, this is painful in the moment, but serves one well in the future and he or she is put on the path of destiny.
- You lose your attachments: Ketu takes away all that you were proud of intelligence-gone, money-gone, relations-gone, career-gone. Again this happens in a swift and brutal manner Ketu separates not like a surgeon but like a butcher. Few people are left clinging to anything once this period is done with them. They realize that they may end up losing anything at a moment’s notice. The grip of illusionary Maya is loosened on them and the lucky ones become detached.
- You lose your ego: Once you have lost all that you were proud of, there comes a day (normally in the first half) when a man realizes his helplessness and insignificance. Once all is taken away, the ego crumbles, and when it does, it is very liberating and life turns for the better. Ketu leaves you with only the essence of what you got, your soul. I have seen people lose arrogance acquired over a mercury period quickly and often this happens
- You become a man of god: Once a person realizes that the toys and titles, and so called relations he or she had piled up are temporary and illusionary, there is but little trace of materialism left in one. Once he or she realizes that there is only one true possession one true possession one’s quintessential self or soul, and there is only one true relation that of the soul and the god. These two things even Ketu can’t take away, in fact it makes us realize this truth and we all should be thankful to him.
- Redemption and liberation: This is the most desired effect of a Ketu dasha. Once you have realized the illusions of Maya, in the first half and have worked your way to redemption in the second half, you come out wiser and liberated. I have seen people who have undergone this dasha behave with detached amusement in the next Venus Mahadasha that brings a fun, possessions, and relationships. However, I have seen the natives react with a detached amusement, they know that these are temporary and can be taken away at any moment. lessons of Ketu are harsh, unforgettable and liberating.
Ketu Mahadasha Analysis:
“Let go, or be dragged”
Let’s look into various phases of Ketu Mahadasha:
Here is the breakup of Antardashas:
EDIT 2: Ketu OFTEN THROWS A HONEY TRAP. YOU CAN GET INTO A NEW JOB, TRANSFER, RELATIONSHIP, WHICH OFTEN PROVES TO BE A TRAP
I have seen Ketu give almost uniform results to most of the natives. It is very impartial and almost all people suffer in the same way.
I will use a phrase for each of these dashas which contains the essence of all that happens during the period:
Ketu Mahadasha – Ketu Antardasha period: The Big Bang: This horrifying dasha starts with a bang and then it goes on to bang the native for several years. There is a sudden abrupt change in the circumstances of a person and one is forced to cope with extremely new environments. A major change in job, house, place, is almost inevitable and this settings chance paves the way for all that is about to come. There is a sudden dip in the intellectual capacity of the person, one who was considered brilliant during Mercury period transforms into “Gods’ Fool” and the sharp arrogant aura of Mercury is replaced by the “lost and foggy” look that becomes a trademark of the native.
Ketu Mahadasha – Venus Antardasha: Paradise Lost-Hell on earth: If there is one Antardasha (minor period) that sacres the hell out of me, then it is Ketu-Venus period. Venus is the real “King of good times” all love, luxury, material comforts, and fun in life is brought to one by Venus. Ketu the ascetic is the biggest and harshest enemy of Venus and brutally blocks things that Venus signifies. Ketu thus denying all good things in life. I have often seen the natives being tormented by females during this period, may be this is the sing of Venus going bad.
EDIT 2: EUREKA EUREKA…the people who suffer the most are Capricorn, Aquarius, Virgo and Leo lagnas. Basically the better your Shukra is in the chart, the TOUGHER your Ketu-Venus would be. Good part: If this time was really tough, Shukra dasha would be really great.
Ketu Mahadasha – Sun Antardasha – Humiliation followed by liberation: This finally comes as a sigh of relief. This is the point where a person literally “taps out” and gives into the power of the Planets. Ketu hates sun and wants to teach a thing or two to the hot and high headed King of Planets. I have seen this period knock the ego out of the person. People are often tormented by those in authority e.g. bosses, seniors, etc. and have to undergo some sort of humiliation. The arrogance of the Sun is toned down and a person emerges wiser and humbler after losing their ego. This surrender is often liberating and sets the tone for some good times to come.
Ketu Mahadasha – Moon Antardasha – A breath of relief: Ketu is not so inimical towards the moon and this is the time when he goes a little easy on the native. There is peace and calm and general sense of relief is what permeates this period. While emotional detachment is the norm, the native is finally at peace after horrible 20 months where he went from the haughty prince to humble pauper. This is kind of a redeeming period where one learns to cooperate with destiny and loses the illusion of control realizing the power of entities far greater than him.
Ketu Mahadasha – Mars Antardasha – Men at War: This is an interesting one, once the calm waters of Moon have been replaced by fiery fury of Mars, results are far more interesting. This is the time when a person finds his lost confidence. I have seen them get into bursts of anger (Ketu and Mars are both fiery Planets). While they have lost their ego, they realize that they would have to fight for their existence and fight they do. During this period I have seen the native get into conflicts with men, but unlike Ketu-Venus period, this time, the native is able to strike back, not out of arrogance, but out of sense of righteousness and a resigned attitude towards fate. This is for a change, materially beneficial period however, it is more of a war zone where a person would have to fight to the bitter end, good part is that the native is far more mature by now and can handle himself well.
Ketu Mahadasha – Rahu Antardasha – The train wreck: After Ketu-Venus period if anything that scares the hell out of me, then it is the Ketu-Rahu period. And this explains why I am so afraid of the Ketu dasha, it contains two worst periods anyone can go through in life. This has been called the period of “Karmic Retribution” and it is believed that free will of a person is at it minimum during this period and the hand of destiny takes over. There is only one guarantee, whatever one has planned will not happen. Even the best laid plans backfire. Normally the fall out is akin to a train wreck, like a train that has been derailed, a man goes too differently than what he had planned and is dragged off the comfort and security of his train tracks and falls into rough and tumble of something else. This period marks some kind of a completion as Rahu and Ketu come together to form one body. This is normally seen to put the man on the path of his destiny, albeit in a typical brutal Ketu manner. It is better to lie low and let the storm pass over, most importantly, to cooperate with the inevitable.
Ketu Mahadasha – Guru Antardasha – Return of Hope: Finally, this is the time when Ketu thinks that he has given you enough heat and you have learned your lessons, he goes easy on you. As much as he hates Venus, he loves Jupiter with equal fervor and out of respect for him, makes this the best period of the Mahadasha. Jupiter the planet of good luck and optimism, brings relief and spiritual uplift for the native. Ketu halts his damaging agencies as lets its preceptor and role model Jupiter do his work. This is the time when Ketu smiles for a change and the person is able to find some happy period. Ketu’s spirituality combined with Jupiter’s wisdom and cheerfulness gives a person faith and hope. The hopelessness that has been the hallmark of Ketu period is diminished and a person is more spiritual, positive and for a change, cheerful. The appearance of mentors (Gurus) and guiding angels may happen and a person would benefit a lot from their guidance and blessings. This is the happiest phase of an otherwise grim Ketu dasha.
Ketu Mahadasha – Saturn Antardasha – The Karma Yoga period: Well, when these two malefics get together, it is not going to be a pretty picture. However, this one need not be all doom and gloom like Ketu-Venus or even Ketu-Rahu. This can be a “KARMA YOGA” period that can actually pave the way for the upcoming Venus dasha which is a good time for all. This is the time when the resigned acceptance and “passive” floating attitude acquired around Ketu-Sun period is phased out. While it is able to dominate most Planets with sheer impunity, NOBODY DOMINATES Saturn. So Saturn starts his class by putting the material realities back in the picture and drags down the man back to the material plane. The optimism of Jupiter period is gone and spiritual musings are replaced with blood sweat and tears of real life work. Ketu wants to be unengaged passive observer who is present but not involved, Saturn wants to do his Karma and “get things done” even on a material plane. Ketu resists with his knowledge of the futility of human effort, but Saturn persists with the material reality of Karma yoga. Like Lord Krishna, the blue-black colored Saturn encourages the native to do his action. This is time of minimalism and high pressure, intense efforts and low rewards, slowly and gradually Ketu gives up and Saturn dominates. A person might feel the pressure but mostly the native is “too busy working to feel depressed”.
Also, an erratic Sleep Schedule is the norm for Ketu-Saturn period. The Tug-of-War these two play can be exhausting. On one day Saturn might wake the native up at 4 a.m. and keep him working till 11 a.m. non-stop. On the other day, Ketu may make him feel so lazy that he wakes up at 11 a.m. and then calls in sick and spends rest of the day doing nothing. The fluctuating YO-YO effect of sleep with an unpredictable sleep cycle and fluctuating levels energy is common. The idea is to know which is the Saturn day and which is the Ketu day, and then behave accordingly.
Edit: Feb 2020- Adding my latest learning to this period. While this is a relatively better period, it has its own issues. Most of all the energy fluctuations. Saturn gives one intense energy that forces one to work, whereas Ketu gives irritable energy that doesn’t want to work and gives lethargy in all matters except spiritual. This tug of war between the two can make a person very irritable, confused and unpredictable. This YO-YO of energy levels and push and pull of the two mighty Planets creates havoc. Imagine a bulb going from 0 to 1000 watts of energy…results are the same for your body. Unexplainable illness, bad sleep cycles and most of all ALLERGIES attack the native as the energy fluctuation does significant damage to one’s immune system.
May 2020: One of my very old clients undergoing Ketu Mahadasha-shani Antardasha has been diagnosed with Coronavirus. Would request the reader to say a little prayer for his well being. An unfortunate case in point proving my research. PLEASE GET YOUR IMMUNITY SHOTS BEFORE THIS PERIOD STARTS.
August 2020: My client has recovered and is healthy now. Thank you all for your prayers and support.
During this period of Ketu Mahadasha – Saturn Antardasha can have a lot of intensity particularly during Ketu-Saturn-Venus and Ketu-Saturn-Rahu. One should avoid taking big leaps or risks during this period.
If one gets this period after attaining the age of 36 (Saturn maturity) one is better equipped with the maturity required to handle the lessons of Saturn and would be able to appreciate the lessons of hard work, thrift, and toil that are taught by Saturn. In fact if one is mature, he would welcome this period as this signals the end of Ketu ennui. Just like Arjuna was redeemed by Krishna by making him do his duty.
Ketu Mahadasha – Mercury Antardasha –The Unshackling: The magical world of dasha order ensures that the final planet in a Mahadasha would be the one to “clean up the act”. For Ketu, it is Mercury. The exact opposite of the headless “God’s fool” Ketu, is the materialistic genius Mercury. I often call Mercury the Right Hand of Ganesha and Ketu the Left Hand of Ganesha. Coming together, they create “Shri Ganesha”…a new beginning of a new life. This is the time when finally people get their “heads” back. The Ketu lethargy is washed away by guidance of Saturn and the Ketu confusion is finally removed by the grace of Mercury. Native is once again able to work at a good intellectual capacity (finally) and think their way out of things. It is a period of planning for future and they look forward with optimism to the upcoming Venus period. While Ketu off and on interferes out of habit, he knows that he is more or less done with you and retires in the background as Mercury takes over the new you.
THE X FACTOR: DASHA SANDHI AND Ketu STING:
Dasha can be translated to the word “condition”. with change in dasha, the native’s conditions also change. Thus, with Mahadasha change, the entire canvas of the life changes. Usually it is a violent process full of turmoil and radical changes.
This period is called Dasha Sandhi, and it lasts for first nine months of Venus Dasha. I have seen people change everything in their life. Jobs, cities, businesses, and at times spouse. While toughest Dasha Sandhi is the one from Saturn Mahadasha to Mercury Mahadasha, Ketu Mahadasha has a secret weapon, “The Ketu Sting” which is often used in Dasha Sandhi period. Like a retreating snake, Ketu might give the native a parting gift that he may never forget.
This sting can appear to be devastating, however, like all things Ketu, it will be liberating in the long run. I have often seen people suffer something horrible during the Dasha Sandhi period of first 9 months of Venus Dasha. This may include job loss, disease, separation, death of a parent, even widowhood.
However almost always it turns out to be one of the best things that ever happened to them. But when it hurts, it hurts like hell. But believe me, whatever the Divine Ketu does, you would be thankful for it later. Accept the sting as a Zen Master’s blow, which pushes you through enlightenment.
By the end of the Ketu Mahadasha:
- You are more mature spiritually, and know that spirituality matters
- You have paid back for a lot of your bad karma and your soul feels lighter
- You have lost your ego and have become more humble
- You have realized that the world is an illusion, and god is the only reality.
You become a much better person, you are secure in spiritual understanding and have empathy for those who are suffering. Once Ketu is done with you, it rewards you with a sense of stoic redemption and spiritual heights, which no other planet can give. An egoless relaxed acceptances of the way things are…you know that you are not running the universe. You understand the Zen saying “Sitting quietly, doing nothing, spring comes, and grass grows by itself.”
This detached spiritual attitude keeps a person spiritually safe during the “fun and frolic” days of the upcoming Venus dasha which comes from the Universe as a reward for having suffered through the Ketu period.
In India while thanking God, we often say in Hindi “Shukar Hai” roughly meaning “Thanks to God” said for something good. In my view this phrase “Shukar Hai” evolved from Shukra (Venus) Mahadasha.
Seven years of bad luck (Ketu Dasha) ends and the period of “Shukar Hai” (Venus Dasha) starts. Venus gives you the blessings, good luck, and love that have eluded you for a long time and finally, once Ketu Mahadasha ends, it ushers in the Venus period: Paradise Regained:
However, as I personally go towards the end of this dasha, I have realized something. Ketu is the biggest benefic, the most saintly planet, the LIBERATOR. He has no material agenda, all he wants is to wake you up to the TRUTH.
In the old Kung Fu movies, there was an often repeated theme, the hero goes to a tough Master to learn the art. The Master makes his life miserable, makes him sweat and cry and the hero hates the master with all his being. However, suddenly one day he realizes that the Master had only love for him and the only agenda was to transform him for the better. Then the hero falls in love with the Master. Ketu is like that badass Master who beats us to lift us, who totrtures us to liberate us.
We often start to hate Ketu when this dasha starts, by the end of the dasha, you are so much in love with this planet that you want him to stay. The Ketu liberation can be most addictive. In the end, we fall in love with Divine Ketu, our liberator.
G. Vijay Kumar
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